Eschatology is the theological word for end times studies or study of “last things”. About 1/4 or 25% of the bible contains prophectic scripture. Yet most pastors and preachers behind the pulpits avoid the prophecy teachings in God’s word. God desires that we know what the future holds. He does not leave us in ignorance. The bible is very clear on future events, and many have yet to be fulfilled. The bible has proven itself to be historically and prophetically correct. You don’t have to fall into the false beliefs of men, who predict everything from worldwide destruction on a certain date to the Rapture happening on this day or that. It would definitely seem by world events that Christ’ return is in our immediately future, but our way of thinking, is not always God’s way of thinking or in His timeline (Isa.55:8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD”). What all believers should do is to look for the Blessed Hope everyday, and live our lives in such a way, if His return were today, that we would not be ashamed(1 John 2:28 “And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming”).
We do know that the world continues to disintegrate in sin and immorality. But God in all His righteousness is longsuffering. When God destroyed the earth by flood in Noah’s day, the world was obviously heavy populated. Notice that God waited until only one man was left righteous, namely Noah. Only Noah and his family were saved from the destruction of the world by flood. Now we know that modern day saints, that is those who have put their faith in Jesus, are on a steady decline, in other words, christianity is growing at a very slow rate. False religions are booming and so are cults inside the world of Christendom. As each day and month and year goes by, Christianity, the only true and pure religion, is on the decline. The world becomes further away from the true God, immorality on the globe is rampantly on the incline.
Amazingly, the divorce and abortion rates are as high for church members and so called Christians as they are for the secular world. The family unit, that is father, mother and children, is not utilized or even respected in our world today. Breakdown of the traditional family is what has caused ALL the problems in America and beyond. Crime rates have never been higher, drug use is out of control, with millions on Americans hooked on prescription pills. 1 billion children aborted across the globe, yet if it were panda bears and puppy dogs being aborted in this manner, millions would protest in the streets! The priorities of the people of the world are not in line with God, morality or even common sense. People’s actions aren’t just changing, the ungodly way they think is beginning to rule. This is exactly how it was in Noah’s day (Gen.6:5 “And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”)
It clearly proves the 2nd law of thermodynamics, and disproves the evolutionist, that everything is on a steady and continual path of decline and decay, be it physical or moral decline. Now the evolutionist have a problem with this law, believing things are always on the incline, example; Give some sludge a few million years and it will become a beautiful man and woman capable of loving, thinking, emotions and procreation.
What it boils down to is it is obvious that this age cannot continue. Man is becoming so evil that if given long enough, he would destroy the entire earth and everything on it. But man will not be allowed to destroy the earth completely. God will step in and intervene. But only God knows when this age will end. I remember my mother telling me of the Hitler day’s. She said everyone who knew anything about the bible, and even those who didn’t, believed Hitler was the antichrist and the world was ending. I suppose it was a reasonable thing to think when you have a madman killing millions of Jews and declaring he was going to take over the world. There have been many times throughout human history when it would be reasonable to think that Jesus’ return was immanent.
I watched an old black and white sermon a while back. It was preaching from 1959. The message was about the coming of the Lord, and the preacher was adamant that the world in 1959 had reached such a state of sinfulness and rebellion that Jesus could come at any time. I thought to myself, boy, what must you be thinking of this world now. Homosexuals getting legally married, killing babies by the thousands everyday, perhaps 50% of the population on some kind of drug, the world’s so called educated and intellectuals believing the most foolish lie ever designed, that being evolution, over half of married couples admit to having adulterous affairs, people “shacking” without a thought of marriage, churches congratulating and giving baby showers to pregnant girls who are not married, absolutely no God in public schools, the President of the United States declaring he totally supports gay marriage, young girls dressing like strippers, young boys wearing pants so sacking, their back end shows, pornography in any degree or capacity right in your own home through TV and internet. These things would have been unimaginable in 1959, but the preacher in 1959 was very sincere in his beliefs that Jesus coming was very near, and here we are over 50 years later and people are just as sincere today, but we simply do not know how long this age will go on or how bad things could get.
Prophecy though not exclusively, but primarily deals with Israel. If you want to know where we stand in God’s timeline, we must look at Israel. We know the so-called Arab Spring, in which these Middle Eastern countries are now taking on new governments, in which all are hostile to Israel. For example, we know that Muammar al-Gaddafi former leader of Lebanon and Hosni Mubarak former leader of Egypt were far from saints, however they were not directly hostile or threatening to the nation Israel. These new governments that are shaping together are all “Israel Haters”. This is very important to note because many of these same nations that are now forming new, anti-semetic governments and leadership are the very nations prophesied in the bible to make war with Israel in the last days. So it would seem that events in the Middle East, are in deed setting up for end time events. It would seem that the increase of immorality and sin coincide with political events also predicted in God’s word for the last days. Political events such as a one world government, with the capability of having a one world governmental ruler, which is becoming more of a reality everyday. We know technology has surpassed anything the great inventors from yesteryear could have even imagined. The world indeed has the technology to mark and monitor every person on the face of the earth. But with all this evidence we just can’t be dogmatic as to when exactly it’s all going to come to a head. Only God knows these things. I do believe a saved man or woman, should study prophecy and always be mindful that Jesus is coming back. And we should live our lives accordingly, however, we shouldn’t spend to much time trying to figure out the exact timeline. We live in a fallen creation where the souls of men are more important that all the riches in the world. A believer’s primary focus should be on Jesus, winning souls and living righteously. Knowing that the Rapture could occur at any time should make believers ever mindful of yeilding to the Holy Spirit and His direction and conviction in our lives. John wrote in 1 John 3:2,3 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in himpurifieth himself, even as he is pure.”
We should live everyday realizing that for many, today is the end of the world because they die. Thousands across the globe are dying everyday and opening their eyes in a burning hell. Our main goals should be, while understanding that the return of our Savoir is approaching, we should be winning souls to Jesus Christ. While most ministries ignore prophetic teaching altogether, some ministries are exclusively prophetic. Nothing as I can see is wrong with this, but any and every Christian ministry’s main vision should be saving the lost, by preaching Christ crucified. This is our commission, to tell the world that only through faith in the blood, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ can they be reconciled back to God and made righteous in His sight.
One particular TV “ministry” comes to mind. The leader of this minstry is constantly warning Christians that the Rapture is in our very immediate future, and his interpretation of the bible is the Church, that is the worldwide body of believers, will go through the first half of the Tribulation, which by the way, he is totally in error. So he sells goods: Freeze dried food by the buckets, generators, water purifying bottles and many other “necessities” one may have in a time of crisis. First, Christians will not enter into the Tribulation, as the bible clearly teaches, the Tribulation will be a time when God deals primarily, not exclusively, but primarily with the nation Israel. We will cover more on the timing of the Rapture, in the Rapture study. Secondly the bible says God will provide all a believer’s needs (Php 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus”). If God has supplied our spiritual needs by suffering, bleeding and dying for us, how much then will He supply our physical needs, seeing that our body is the temple for our spiritual. Jesus said in Matthew 6:30-31 “Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?”.
Putting fear in people’s hearts, using the bible and end time prophecies is big business for some “ministries”. But God does not want us to live in fear (2 Timothy1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind”.) Christians do not have to stockpile food and water or build bomb and fallout shelters. We need to take all our time and energy and commit it to spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Another person’s soul and where it will spend eternity, is more important than our trying to hoard up supplies, when God has already promised to provide for us in these physical areas. Because what we know for sure is that this age is ending for multitudes of souls who are dropping into torment every minute that passes. There have been a number of men, some well meaning others who were not, who have set dates and time periods as to Christ’ return. Naturally these predictions failed as only God knows the exact timelines that He has established.